Coke heading to Tigers rotation next year

For those of you who figured something was up when Phil Coke was named to start today’s season finale, you were right. After Jim Leyland said earlier this month that he was still unsure whether Coke was better suited as a starter or a reliever, Leyland said Sunday morning, “My intention is to have Phil Coke in the rotation.”

Coke will slot in behind Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello. Leyland said Armando Galarraga will compete for the fifth spot in a mix that could include some youngsters and maybe a free-agent pickup. He didn’t name Andy Oliver, but one would presume he’ll be a key figure. He did not name Jeremy Bonderman, either, which means we’re probably going to get some news on Bonderman from team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski later today.
Sunday will mark Coke’s first Major League start. He was most recently a starter at Double-A Trenton in 2008.

3 Comments

JL says we “need a lefthander in the rotation”. Now there is an astute observation to make on the 2nd last day of the season.
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I abhor the idea that we have given this guy a free pass to manage our ball team. He is out strategized constantly by opposing managers as evidenced by our poor record in 1 run games (pointed out by Dave I think).
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I don’t think any of us here are dense enough to pin all the blame on Leyland. Dombrowski has also burdened this team with absurd contracts and player transactions. He’s made some great trades but he has also allowed excelletnt players to leave our team and ply their trade elsewhere.
Back to Leyland, managers are generally accountable for their team’s performance. They routinely get fired for much less than what JL has accomplished. They set the tone for what kind of ball club you have.
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The upper management in Detroit has a problem with misplaced reverence. St Brandon has been allowed to be an average ball player with questionable offensive skills here for a long time. At time when we need an offensive impact player at that position. No disrespect to Brandon intended, but I do believe he was overused and overrated.
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Monsignor Leyland has offended players, media and fans and yet he is allowed to pontificate while permitting his team to be “lulled into mediocrity”. Disrespect intended.
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I’m actually hoping for a loss today because it could help the Tigers’ draft position next year. Oakland is, like the Tigers, at 80-81. Further, four other teams, the Angels, the Marlins, the Mets and the Dodgers, are are at 79-82.

So Leyland feels the bullpen is the area we need the most help…then he goes and takes a guy who has been arguably the best reliever on the team this year, and definitely the best lefty and puts him in the rotation before he has ever started a game in the big leagues. Seriously, is Jim Leyland coherent?

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